Monday, May 28, 2012

How to transfer ink to canvas...

A while ago my husband challenged me to come up with something sufficiently manly enough to put in his office. I'll be the first to admit I lean towards the hearts and flowers when it comes to craft. So I put my thinking cap on and decided on making him a print.

I was inspired by Elsie over at A Beautiful Mess with her tutorial on making your own canvas portrait. As you can see from the photo (although it looks fainter on here than in real life), the method I used gave a 'distressed' look. I did consider going over it with a bit of paint but I (and more importantly hubby) liked the canvas in it's natural state.

This is such a simple d.i.y. - just remember to print your quote backwards, otherwise you'll need a mirror on standby :)

What you need:

Blank canvas
Standard paper

1) Print out your quote backwards. It will vary on each computer but I have Windows 2010. On that, click onto 'print', then 'printer properties' and then 'print layout' and select the mirror option.

2) Position your paper over the canvas. soak your sponge and press onto the paper. Make sure you press down rather than wipe as this will tear the paper. Don't be afraid to really soak the paper and apply pressure. Gradually work your way down over all the text.

The paper might crease up slightly when wet. This is okay, I didn't notice any real detriment to the final outcome. You can gently try to pull out the creases if you wish, it's far more important to not rip the paper though.

3) Leave for 15-30 minutes to allow the ink to transfer onto the canvas. Gently peel the paper away and leave the canvas to dry...or be impatient like me and use a hairdryer.

I really like the statement of black ink on white canvas...I think I might be filling our new home with favourite quotes using this method :)

Update: I decided to paint over the text as it had faded after the sun got it's bright shining rays on it...I posted about the process here if you wanted to see the updated version!


  1. Thanks for the post! I am going to try this today!

  2. Awesome idea! I am making a gift for my boyfriend and didn't want to paint the words on (I have terrible handwriting!) so this is a wonderful and neat way to do it. Can you tell me what font you used in this example? Thank you :)

    1. Hi Madie, thanks for your comment. I'm really sorry but I can't remember what font it memory isn't the best!The best I can say is that I think it was one of the standard microsoft ones that comes with Word. I hope you find a great font and that you're pleased with the result, I'd love to hear how you get on!

  3. Hi! I LOVE this idea, but, does it leave a slight water mark on the canvas?

    1. Hi Zoe, thanks for your comment! So as it's drying it does look like it will leave a mark (like in one of the photos above) but that does fade significantly once dry. I just grabbed the canvas of the wall and examined it - I can't see any water mark...perhaps the smallest of lines above the text but that's with my nose up against the canvas! Really nothing that is at all obvious though. I hope that helps, I'd love to hear how you get on with it if you have a go :)

  4. Do you think this would work on a canvas that has been painted?

    1. So sorry I never replied to your comment but just in case anybody else wonders about this then personally I don't think it would work as it would need a porous surface to take the ink. :)

  5. That sure is one neat way to do it. Nice idea there. Thanks for the tip.

    Canvas Prints

  6. Hi .. does it matter if you use laser or inkjet printer for the paper thank

    1. Sorry but I don't know the answer to that. I used my inkjet printer though so it definitely works with that!

  7. So , I tried this and the ink isn't transferring onto the canvas ....

    1. That's the canvas treated in anyway? You have to soak the paper with the sponge (whilst keeping the paper intact!) to make the transfer. Sorry to hear it hasn't worked for you though, I'm not sure what to suggest as it worked first time for me :(

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